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Monday, March 9, 2015

A war of Obama's making

The White House and some Democrats are livid over congressional Republican attempts to circumvent President Obama's authority to make a nuclear arms deal with Iran. They have a right to be angry — but not to be surprised.

There's a war going on between the executive and legislative branches in which Obama has shown contempt for Congress' constitutional powers, and now, in response, Congress is showing contempt for the president's constitutional powers. It's an unfortunate situation, but it's what Obama has wrought.

The latest development is an open letter to Iranian leaders written by GOP Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and signed by 46 other Senate Republicans. Released Monday morning, the letter reminds Iran that Obama is negotiating with them on his own, without the formal approval or support of Congress. Obama is not pursuing a treaty, which would have to be agreed to by the Senate, or a joint executive-congressional agreement, which would also require Congress' approval.

"We will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei," the Republican senators write. "The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time."

Just in case there's any confusion, the Republicans remind Iran that the next U.S. president will be inaugurated in January 2017, about 22 months from now, while at least some of the GOP senators who signed the letter will remain in office for many years to come...


Skippy Stalin said...

During the 1968 presidential campaign, Richard Nixon sent a message to the South Vietnamese government through future attorney general John Mitchell and Anna Chennault that they should no agree to any peace deal brokered by the Johnson administration.

That was very close to treason, and this isn't far behind it.

It wasn't all that very long ago when Republicans accused then Speaker Nancy Pelosi of horrible things in the wake of her visit to Damascus, and I agreed with them.

Yes, there will be a new president in 22 months. It might even be a Republican. Tragically, the GOP has established that foreign policy is now to be conducted by a committee of 535. They have now established that any agreement reached with a foreign government is to be treated as a treaty. In acting just as he does, the GOP has elevated Jimmy Carter to his long-desired position of senior statesman, even though the other living former presidents detest the smug prick.

The Republican party has no right to bitch about anything, ever again.

Skippy Stalin said...

Finally, and worst of all, the GOP may have just guaranteed that Iran will have a bomb, sooner rather than later.

Richard K said...

Possibly, but not necessarily. It's doubtful Obama would do it, but give the Iranians the choice between give up the bomb and regime change, and I'd guess they pick the former.

The trick is, don't go in with a crappy "reconstruction plan" like in Iraq. Just take out the nukes and the leadership and Revolutionary Guard strongholds. The result in Iran would be chaos, but not nuclear armed-chaos, and somewhat less exportation or terrorism.

Skippy Stalin said...

I'm pretty sure that if it were that simple, someone would have done it already. That sounds so simple that even Bush could have done it.

Worse, Tehran anticipated that, mostly because Persians aren't idiots like the Arabs, who put all of their tools in one box.

Hitting the program, to the extent that you effectively can, means bombing university campuses in downtown Tehran.

There's also no daylight between the regime and the people on the nuclear program. Opinion is almost universal in the country that Iran should have a deterrent.